Blackburn Club Focus – Hoilett double sees Rovers go three points clear

It was not only a victory that put Blackburn three points clear of the dreaded dop zone, but incredibly it was the first time since April last year that Steve Kean’s youthful side had managed to keep a clean. Thanks to two terrific goals from David ‘Junior’ Hoilett, the Lancashire outfit secured a much-needed 2-0 win over relegation rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Saturday.

Many fans would argue that a tally of just 25 points from Rovers’ 28 Premier League games so far this term is a poor return; after all, Kean’s men had collected 32 points at this stage last season. However, the Ewood Park side now have two more important games in March – against Sunderland and Bolton – which could see them pull even further away from fellow strugglers Wigan, Wolves, Queens Park Rangers and the Trotters themselves.

While Blackburns’ back unit was left greatly satisfied with their well-deserved clean sheet at Molineux, a quick look at the table indicates that the Lancashire club statistically still have the poorest defensive record in the top-flight – they have conceded a staggering 60 goals so far this season. Fortunately for Kean, Rovers have been far more impressive going forward, and it is their remarkable goals tally which could prove to be crucial as they battle for Premier League survival.

Blackburn, who found the net just 46 times in the whole of the last campaign, are the only side – apart from the teams in the top five – to have notched up 40 goals this season. And while many of those goals, 13 in fact, have been scored by Nigerian striker Yakubu, it is the Canadian attacker Hoilett who made the headlines on Saturday.

Hoilett has come under criticism from supporters for some indifferent displays of late, but he thrived alongside Yakubu against Wolves. The skilful 21-year-old, who is usually found playing on the wing, showed that he is equally adept at bamboozling opposition defenders in a more central role. When Hoilett is feeling confident, the youngster is more than capable of producing moments of magic like those at Molineux. Kean, who has overseen the Canadian’s development over the 15 months, will be delighted by Hoilett’s recent match-winning performance. However, the Scotsman will also know that he is likely to lose the forward this summer.

Rovers have so far been unable to persuade Hoilett to sign a new contract, so as things stand, he will be allowed to leave for nothing but compensation in just a few months’ time. According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal, Tottenham, Newcastle, Bolton and Bayern Munich are all interested in signing the Blackburn star. However, the Daily Mirror has recently suggested that Rovers have not yet given up hope on keeping Hoilett and are ready to hand him a new £2m-a-year deal. It could be however that the only chance Kean will have of keeping the youngster is if Rovers secure Premier League safety.

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